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Five things to know when buying commercial real estate in Florida

People from around the world buy commercial real estate in Florida. Whether you are buying commercial property for an investment or to operate a business, here are five tips to ensure you get what you think you are getting.

1. Check land use and zoning. Is the property zoned for your intended use? Does someone else have the right to use your property through an easement? Do you share a common driveway or parking lot with owners of adjacent property? If so, do you have the easements you need?

2. Check environmental issues. Does the property have environmental issues, such as soil contamination or a buried fuel tank that you would have to pay to correct?

3. Buy insurance. Do you have all the insurance you will need to protect your investment? That should include insurance for hurricane damage as well as liability insurance if someone is injured on your property.

4.  Create a business entity. You should never own investment property in your personal name, as you would be personally liable for things that happen on the property. If you are a business owner, you may want to consider a separate business entity for real estate so your business is not liable.

5.  Read the contract. Commercial lease and purchase agreements are not as standard as those for residential properties. Your rights and obligations will be spelled out in the contract you are signing. Be sure you understand it before you sign it.

To protect your investment, discuss your commercial real estate purchase with an attorney 

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